~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday December 21, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- It Won't Be Easy- But Rebuilding the US Beef Cow Herd Needs to Happen- SO Says OSU Economist Derrell Peel
-- More than Nine Out of Ten Hog Farms Now Have Premise IDs
-- Money to Diversity Your Farm or Ranch Operation Available from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
-- Overall- Canola Going into the Winter in Good Shape
-- Soy Flour Headed to Afghanistan
-- From Out of Nowhere- Food Safety Bill is Revived- and Almost Ready to Head to the White House
-- Prayers Needed for Jeff Krehbiel
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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It Won't Be Easy- But Rebuilding the US Beef Cow Herd Needs to Happen- SO Says OSU Economist Derrell Peel
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel offers the following thoughts from his regular weekly look at the cattle markets via the electronic newsletter- Cow- Calf Corner:
"With feeder cattle prices near record levels at the end of 2010, market incentives to rebuild critically low U.S. cattle numbers are increasing. Severe market shocks since late 2006 have completely masked the cattle cycle and the resulting additional liquidation has pushed the cow herd inventory to new lows. Though the annual cattle inventory report is a few weeks away yet, it appears the 2011 will begin with a beef cow herd that is close to two million head lower than the 2006 level, when the last expansion was interrupted. Although herd rebuilding is likely to occur in the coming months and years, several factors have changed that will impact how and where herd rebuilding will occur and, most importantly, how fast it will occur.
"The biggest keys to heifer retention are the economic signals embodied in calf prices and producer expectations for the coming years. Although calf prices are near record levels, it is not clear that profitability is high enough to ensure herd rebuilding. In order to decide to retain a heifer, producer expectations have to be such that anticipated prices are high enough for long enough to make the present value for breeding exceed the current value of the heifer as a feeder animal. Many producers face high and volatile input costs that offset some of the incentive of higher cattle prices. Some of these impacts are regional, suggesting that rebuilding may be slower in some areas than others. For example, higher shipping costs have increased the discount on cattle in the Southeast, relative to the rest of the country. This fundamentally reduces the relative competitiveness of cattle in that region."
You can read the rest of Derrell's thoughts on the challenge of rebuilding our US Mama Cow herd by clicking on the LINK below.
More than Nine Out of Ten Hog Farms Now Have Premise IDs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As of this week, 92 percent of all U.S. swine premises now have a nationally standardized premises identification number (PIN). This milestone figure, calculated by the Pork Checkoff using USDA data, represents 65,907 premises. Nearly half of these farms were registered over the last three years in conjunction with a cooperative agreement between the pork industry and USDA.
"This achievement means that pork producers and the pork industry realize that premises identification is instrumental in helping to take the health of our herds into the 21st century and to protect our industry from long-term negative consequences of a foreign animal disease," said Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Ark., and president of the National Pork Board. "The nationally standardized PIN is the cornerstone for more rapid and accurate traceability, which supports a faster response to animal-health events from the farm level on up. It has already proven to be useful in states assisting pork producers in a weather disaster. That's why we urge all producers to make this a priority and participate in premises identification."
According to Patrick Webb, DVM, the Pork Checkoff's director of swine health, the pork industry leveraged funding from USDA to augment its own investment to help achieve this industry objective. "We developed and delivered education and outreach under the guidance of the industry's Swine ID Implementation Task Force, which consists of producers from all size of farms and representatives of packers, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Swine Registry and State Premises ID Coordinators.
The Checkoff will continue to work with federal and state animal health
authorities to promote PINs and further implementation of the swine ID
plan. The next step is to get even more adoption of the individual and
group identification practices under the plan.
Money to Diversity Your Farm or Ranch Operation Available from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The key to being successful in almost any agriculture operation is being able to diversify when necessary. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry has been helping producers to diversify their operations for more than a decade. Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach states that, "The AEDP loan and grant program has done some great things throughout the state. I encourage producers to think outside the box and take advantage of this program to diversify their operation."
The Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification Program (AEDP) provides funds in the form of 0% interest loans or grants to producers to create rural economic development statewide. The AEDP Advisory Board meets quarterly to review and approve applications.
The deadline for the current application period is January 3, 2011. Click on the LINK below to learn more about some of the projects that have been awarded previously- and info on how you can apply by that first Monday in January.
Overall- Canola Going into the Winter in Good Shape
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mother Nature has delivered farmers good news who are growing winter canola in the Southern Plains this year.
Approximately 110,000 acres of the oilseed crop, the most for it's short production history, is growing in North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, according to Gene Neuens, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill field represetative here.
"We have looked at the crop from the Texas to the Oklahoma panhandle areas and everywhere else," Neuens said. "With the recent winter freezes, the crop is going into its dormant stage. Overall, the 2010 canola crop is right on track for the winter growth hiatus it experiences, Neuens said.
There has been much interest in winter canola production this year for
several reasons, but two stand out in particular, Neuens said. "Winter
canola was specifically chosen less than a decade ago as a crop to reduce
the huge weed problem winter wheat producers were fighting in the Southern
Plains," he said. "Originating from spring canola varieties typically
grown in northern states and Canada, crop breeders developed new varieties
of the crop which would grow in winter months like hard red winter wheat,
a crop grown on millions of acres across the US."
Canola offers producers an alternative crop that matches up with the
planting and harvesting cycle of winter wheat. And, as a bonus, it offers
an attractive payday for farmers that use it.
Soy Flour Headed to Afghanistan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Five-thousand women and their families in Afghanistan will soon benefit from a shipment of U.S. soy flour. The 3,525 50-pound bags are being shipped from the Port of Virginia by the American Soybean Association's World Initiative for Soy in Human Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA purchased the soy flour as part of its cooperative agreement with ASA under the USDA Food for Progress Program. Cargill's Cedar Rapids, Iowa facility produced the soy flour, which readily increases the protein content of traditional naan breads as well as makes soymilk and other foods.
Once the soy flour completes its 7-thousand-plus mile journey, WISHH and its partners will work with the Afghanistan Ministry of Women's Affairs to distribute "family size" portions of the soy flour. According to UNICEF, more than half of Afghan children under five suffer from moderate or severe stunting. Twenty five percent of children die before reaching their fifth birthday. The health of rural Afghan people, particularly women and children, is often the worst in the nation.
WISHH launched the USDA-funded Soybeans in Agricultural Renewal of Afghanistan (SarAi) project this year. The multi-faceted effort uses soybeans to benefit Afghan farmers, food processors, and rural communities, as well as women and children. It provides a total of 240 metric tons of defatted soy flour, 13,750 metric tons of soybean oil and 6,000 metric tons of soybeans over three year. Over the life of the program and all of its activities, this project will benefit more than 405,000 Afghan people.
From Out of Nowhere- Food Safety Bill is Revived- and Almost Ready to Head to the White House
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In case you missed it, the U.S. Senate, Sunday evening, passed on to the House the food safety bill, minus a section that caused concern. That section would have imposed fees on importers, farmers and food processors whose food is recalled because of contamination. The Senate corrected the problem before its vote, which moved forward because Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn apparently backed off earlier plans to filibuster the measure.
Mark Maslyn of the American Farm Bureau does not expect a lot of
on-farm FDA visits, but given limited resources, more visits to processing
facilities. And the bill excludes small farms with sales less than
half-a-million dollars, which sell directly to the public.
The House is expected to pass the measure Tuesday, sending it to
President Obama for his signature.
Prayers Needed for Jeff Krehbiel
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have not given you an update in quite some time on our friend Jeff Krehbiel, a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and a continuing warrior against cancer- in his case- a brain tumor. Jeff has been doing well as treatment that he has received at MD Anderson in Houston has resulted in the cancer being removed and currently being held at bay.
However, other issues have raised their ugly head this week- just days before Christmas- as Jeff is in ICU this morning as we write this- battling blood clots in his left lung. His wife, Karen, has updated us on their ongoing medical treatment blog which we have linked to below. Her post from very early this morning gives you a lot of details if you care to get them.
We are asking you to join the family and Jeff's friends in praying for the procedure that has been done in the last 24 hours to show results in breaking up the clots that are very dangerous. Pray for Jeff, his wife Karen and their daughter Brittany.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $9.75 per bushel, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.50 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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